Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Very British Scandal begins on Sunday

In the days when we Liberal Democrats still imagined we might come out of the Coalition alive, I wrote in the Leicester Mercury:
Crisis? What crisis? When I joined the Liberal Party in the late 1970s we were finishing behind the National Front in parliamentary by-elections and our former leader was about to go on trial at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to murder. That’s a crisis.
As it turned out, Jeremy Thorpe did less harm to the party's long-term prospects than did Nick Clegg.

The extraordinary story of Thorpe and the conspiracy to murder which he initiated is to be told in a three-part BBC drama A Very British Scandal. The first part goes out on Sunday at 8pm.

Russell T. Davies, who has written the series, is interviewed on the We Are Cult website:
There are a lot of books written about Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe and they’ll tell you what happened – but as a writer, I thought I’d tell you why they happened. If I have a career as a writer it’s through understanding people, having psychological insights and being able to understand why characters and people do the things that they do. That’s what I brought to it. 
Norman Scott is still going strong and is not entirely happy with the was Davies has portrayed him.

A Very British Scandal is based upon John Preston's book of the same name, which I reviewed briefly a couple of years ago.

I occasionally see promises of startling revelations in the Thorpe Affair, but really the full story has been known for decades.

Even the fact that Team Thorpe had first approached another potential hitman was revealed by Auberon Waugh as long ago as 1981.

Still, I suspect the story will startle many viewers and I shall certainly be watching.

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